Category Archives: sport

Gettin’ Sweaty & Breathin’ Heavy 2013 (3)

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UnknownOne of the reasons for starting this running habit, as listed in the first GSBH2013 post, was to change my commitment karma.    Without going into the gory details, lately there has been much analyzing of past relationships — which at some point always leans towards finger being pointed away from myself, aaaaaand then right back towards myself again.    At some point it seemed like this process of finger-pointing was a reason to feel like a bad person, a selfish person – but now am beginning to consider that perhaps this is human nature.  It’s hard to look at yourself and own your actions!

It seems trite to say that ‘running is a metaphor for life’, but it works for this runner.   The first 10K race is coming up (yipes…) and what I am certain of is that if I get my butt out the door for a run every other day the 10K will be doable.   Will it still be a physical challenge?  Yes.  But  the tools to be able to push through and do my personal best will be there at the ready.    Doing the exact same run every time will result in more of a physical and mental challenge on race day.   Striving for a longer distance every week will, with any luck, better prepare me mentally — and  my 45yr old body will have a better chance at stepping up to the challenge (keeping my fingers crossed that my body does not implode on race day….LOL).

In other words, the amount of commitment and energy put into training will be reflected likewise in the end result – both mentally and physically.   Apply that to relationships – the amount of commitment and energy put into relationships (of all kinds) will be reflected likewise in the other persons commitment and willingness to step up.

It must also be said that as we age we realize that our bodies are not always able to step up to our level of commitment.   Teaching dance and learning about sport has taught me that sometimes our physical ability doesn’t always match our level of commitment.  When that happens we need to take a step back and evaluate, is there another way to accomplish this goal with this body?   Or do I need to let it go and move  new direction?

Sometimes you can put energy and commitment into a relationship – and no matter what you do it isn’t reflected back likewise.   Those are the moments when you need to take a step back and reevaluate – not just your actions and/or the other persons actions, but consider if it is realistic to pursue this particular relationship.  Letting go is the hardest part – but sometimes its necessary for one’s own well-being and survival in this crazy world.

Actions truly do speak louder than words – and letting go is an action that speaks volumes about one’s commitment to self-worth.

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Quotes from John Stanton’s Facebook page (founder of The Running Room):

“Commitment… being loyal to your goal and accountable to yourself.”

“To define who you are and what you mean to yourself …go for a run.”

Am running to a huge playlist that surprises me at every step and interval.  LOVE when this song kicks in.

Gettin’ Sweaty & Breathin’ Heavy 2013 (2)

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155680_566834896670105_1464338912_nThere seems to be something to this whole running business.  Over the past month I have managed to run 3x a week (every other day) and have progressed from 4.3 K to almost 7K.

And the scary thing is  — running feels good.  In my first post I mentioned the reasons why I am doing this running challenge and I have to say that I feel like it is actually helping.

Maybe its a control thing.

Though I cannot control the process of grief  –  I can control whether or not I drag myself out the door for a run.    I can also attempt to change how I am feeling into something positive through running (hello endorphin kick!).

Though I cannot control the actions of others – I can control my actions and how I choose to let go of the resentment.  When I run it feels like all of these emotions are my fuel – turning them into positive energy to be burned off and rinsed away.

We have all thought it and said it before, Life can be hard.   Somedays it is all we can do to put one foot in front of the other.  Running seems to be a good way to put this into physical practice on a regular basis – and what I know for sure is that anything you practice regularly becomes habit.  And this is a habit that can make the difference between giving up and  persevering through any situation.

Recommendations:

Good shoes do not have to be expensive – but do have a physiotherapist have a look at them to make sure that the fit and support is good.  This goes a long way in preventing injuries over time.

Ladies buy  yourself a skort.  Love it!

Buy a running hat –  Mine isn’t fancy but its a source of inspiration and keeps me thinking forward while covering my sweaty, dirty hair.

Runkeeper App – LOVE  THIS APP!   Keeping track of distance, pace, time, even heart rate (if you have a monitor) can be very motivating.  It also will email you when you achieve a new goal.

Races – A friend and I have signed up for the two races this fall.   Right now these keep me motivated to get moving because I really don’t want to be crawling over the finish line whether I am in last place or not!

Gettin’ Sweaty & Breathin’ Heavy 2013

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When this blog began I had signed up for my first one month hot yoga challenge. The experience of yoga on a regular basis in addition to the experience of the hot room proved to be a physical challenge and provided some inspiration for this blog as well.  In the end it also fostered some unnecessary injuries and issues with heat stroke — so I do continue to do yoga but in a slightly different setting.

What I feel like after I've completed a run.

What I feel like post-run.

MY 2013 CHALLENGE IS…..drumroll please….  

Running 2 (yes 2) 10k races (September and October).

Holy.

Crap.

Some have asked, “What/who are you running from?”

That answer is more complex than I initially thought.

I am running from heart disease and diabetes (both were my mom’s arch nemeses).

I am committing to run to change my commitment karma, if you will.  Out with the one-sided relationships with people who cannot commit to the basic concepts of a relationship: Communication, Friendship and Honesty.   Bring on the healthy commitment karma!

I am running to get through the grief.  Running in the hope of somehow recreating my mother’s strength and perseverance, and honouring her spirit.

And  I am running to flush out the disappointment and frustrations of past relationships for good, and forever.  Maybe I can somehow cultivate compassion through running.

Finally, and equally as important as the rest, I am running because the post-run high is pretty freakin’ fabulous.

Mom lived with Diabetes for 20+ years and persevered through those last 2 years of life with a multitude of issues  and challenges (as a result of long-term diabetes), so therefore there is no reason why I couldn’t  move my butt 3-4 times a week. And by all means I can get out there on race day and give it my best.  And for what its worth – mom had diabetes, heart disease and cancer (x2) and my dad has had cancer (x1)- the odds are stacked against me and I need to keep movin’!

There are no illusions of grandeur, as there is virtually no chance of my placing in the top ten of any age group – I just want to get out there and do my best.  With any luck I will not be the last person to straggle across the finish line.

Have I ever run anything in my life? Not since about grade 5. Though I was a decent runner at that time — it was more than a few decades ago.

I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to.   To show everyone (and myself) who is afraid of being 45, divorced, with no children, that it is going to be ok.  In fact, its pretty damn liberating at the best of times!  That at 45 yrs of age one doesn’t need to give in to what society deems as  OLD, and that to feel young one doesn’t need to pretend they are in their 20’s either. Doing new things challenges us to do and think differently, we interact with different groups of people, and in this case, we do a bit of good as well.

There.

It’s official.

I’ve made this commitment ‘public’.

Oi. Vay.

…getting’ sweaty, breathin’ heavy… (part deux)

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No, still not me...

Sweat…sweaty…sweatiness…bathed in sweat.

That pretty much sums up Hot Yoga for me…literally dripping with sweat within the first 15 minutes.   It – is – absolutely- fabulous.   One of the things I miss about ballet training is the feeling of complete, utter, physical exhaustion and being completely drenched in sweat.  Hot yoga completely fills that void.

Much has changed since the last entry on my yoga experience.   As of today I have attended 9 classes with varying instructors, each experience/practice becoming more challenging than the last.   The first class things felt a bit familiar but my body felt like a giant knot.  After the third class I felt strength increasing in my arms, shoulders and back.   The fourth class – felt like I got my yoga groove back!   In that past few years I’ve developed minor knee pains the creep in from time to time, so doing things like the elliptical trainer, running, and grande plié [like a deep knee bend – but balletically] really do not make my knees happy anymore.   After 9 classes – essentially no knee pain.  Whoo hoo!

Physically I have noticed that my skin has changed (they say that sweating out the toxins improves your skin).   After all those downward dogs (especially in the 90 min. classes) my upper back feels stronger and I am less slouchy in my posture overall (very bad habit of mine – too much computer work).  On the days I take class (and following night) I sleep like a baby and feel great the next morning.  For the past week I have had a bit of a cold and have kept going to classes, having a good sweat really helped to kick the fever out and is helping to keep the ‘muck’ moving (hence not settling into my chest or sinuses, yay!).

Am getting closer to this...the stillness and silence.

One of my challenges has been letting go of my ‘ballet brain’ and the expectation to do everything perfectly.  Competitiveness is part of that creature as well so there has also been the issue of doing poses better than the person/s next to me.   Only recently have I felt that I have been able to let these habits go and focus on what my body needs, to focus internally.  Finding that place I am able to sense where adjustments need to be made and an openness  to suggestions made by the instructors as well.   Plagued with body image issues (all that dancing in form-fitting clothes, criticism, exceedingly high expectations of others and myself, and then there is that damn inescapable wall of mirrors), it is hard to escape sometimes [I could go on, but I think that’s another post for another day], however over these past weeks I have noticed that my focus is turned more inwards with every class.   It seems like the newbies come to class in pairs (safety in numbers) and then chit-chat during class,  this can be frustrating for those of us next to them.   Perhaps its the first day jitters, but it seems that not everyone is comfortable with the silence and the stillness it brings to our bodies (and to the room…).   Me, I love the stillness and silence.

In a nutshell, I am completely addicted!  Moksha has these 30 day challenges where you pay a flat fee and then you can take as many classes as you like (or can) in that 30 days.   They throw in some fun events, t-shirts, etc. to up the value and build community(and to get you firmly addicted to their studio and classes).   The challenge begins this monday and I am completely pumped to be joining in!

Do I recommend this experience to anyone else?  Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!   The only caveat is that if you haven’t taken yoga before it may take you a few classes to understand the poses and breathing.   But, if you stick with it and ask questions of your instructors you will no doubt see and feel results fairly quickly.  A good studio will take the time to walk you through things for the first few classes (Moksha Yoga studios are excellent!).

Wish me luck in my month-long challenge and stay tuned for more yoga inspired posts!

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